Our work at Bideford Bay and Hartland

Creating a new section of boardwalk

With around 40 miles of footpaths to look after along the South West Coast path, our rangers, volunteers and contractors are kept busy. Many sites are remote with poor access and very wet, clay soils. Last year alone, 120 tonnes of surface stone was used to dress paths and car parks. All of this is vital to allow visitors and locals to walk these paths.

Schools

Each year, around 200 children get the chance to explore the area with us, making use of our purpose-built education hut. Groups have been taking part in an iron-age day, learning about the history of the area, and in ecology days, discovering about life cycles.

 
Groups also get involved in practical conservation. Tasks have included scrub clearance and hurdle making as well as having a go at wattle and daub on the education hut.
Ranger leading an Iron Age school visit.
Iron Age School Visit

Management of hill forts

We have three iron-age hill forts on the property which show the history of this area: Windbury Head near Brownsham, Embury Beacon near Welcombe Mouth and Bucks Mills earthworks. They are managed with scrub removal through cutting and burning and, occasionally, grazing. An archeological dig at Embury Beacon involved over 70 volunteers from the south west.
Ponies grazing Windbury Hillfort
Dartmoor Ponies Grazing Hillfort

The arts

We are part of Welcombe Mouth open studios which involves local artists opening their doors to show off what they do. We get involved by providing a family event which allows them to do beach art. We also own and manage The Cabin at Bucks Mills which was an artists' retreat from the 1940s to the 1970s. Today we keep the art alive by having open days and an artist in resident who is there a few weeks each year.
 
Ranger building drift wood sculpture at Welcombe
Welcombe open studios
 

Restoration

Kipling Tors Lookout, Westward Ho! - Local volunteers, contractors and schools helped to restore and brighten up the interior.
East Titchbury Farm - Modern buildings are away from the historic medieval section of the farm. Cables run underground to improve appearance.
Higher Brownsham - Restoration of interior and exterior. A decorative plaster ceiling make this place unique.
 
Painting the lookout at Kipling Tors
Kipling Tors Lookout

Meet the ranger

Gregg is our ranger for this area. He spends his time mainly doing practical work, but also takes school trips and guided walks. He started off, like many rangers, volunteering to gain experience. Discover more about the other work we get up to by taking a look at our blog. You will find out more not only about the Bideford Bay rangers, but also other ranger teams across the North Devon area.
 
Gregg working on a boardwalk installation
Gregg working on a section of boardwalk